Category Archives: Brazil

Travelling all day

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:45 am on January 9, 2013.  We packed our bags up.

Ivan had to walk to the main part of Canas Vieras to find a taxi.  We left at 9:20 am headed to the airport.

Our flight from Florianópolis was supposed to leave at 11:10 am, but the plane was delayed so we left at 12:05 pm.

I was tired and fell asleep before takeoff.  I woke up when the stewards were passing out the peanuts.  Ivan and I watched a show on the laptop.

We arrived at Guarulhos (São Paulo) at 1:40 pm.  Some of the luggage came out about 30 minutes after we landed, but then nothing else.  We waited along with a half dozen people until 2:25 pm to get our backpacks.  That’s the longest we’ve ever waited for luggage.

Ivan and I checked out the screens to see where we had to check-in for our next flight.  We booked the flights separately, so we didn’t have connecting flights.  The flight wasn’t showing up on the screen, but we figured it was probably since the flight wasn’t until 6:50 pm. 

Ivan went on the internet and checked us in and found out the flight was at Terminal 1.  It was a Taca flight going through Avianca airline.  I kept checking the screen and finally our flight showed up.

We walked to the Check-in A area.  Ivan asked the guy at the Avianca counter what time the Lima flight check-in started.  He said 4 pm.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were all hungry.  I noticed restaurants earlier at Check-in C, so we went to check it out.  Ivan though Bar and Bistro looked good.  Lil Dave got a banana lasagna.  Ivan and I shared a vegetable soup and a penne with a pomodoro and pesto sauce.  The penne was nice and hot.

We walked back to the check-in desk at 4:30 pm and checked our backpacks in.

We left Guarulhos, Brazil at 6:50 pm.  Good-bye Brazil!  We were off to Lima, Peru.  The flight was almost 5 hours.  Ivan and I watched Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, New Girl, Lee Evans and The Mindy Project.  Our plane arrived at 8:55 pm.

The Immigration went by really quick. 

Ivan and I waited around for the taxi pick-up from the bed & breakfast that Ivan booked.  We waited for 15 minutes and nobody showed up.  So, we got a taxi from the Taxi Green counter.  We left at 9:40 pm for the B&B.

Ivan and I checked in to D’osma Bed & Breakfast which is in the nice Barranco district. 

Ivan and I decided to go to a restaurant Ivan booked a reservation for.

We got a taxi to Central Restaurant.  

Ivan and I ordered cocktails. 


The bread stone plate came with different small unique breads with roasted butter, butter with salt on top and a great goats cheese and tomato dip. 

Our first dish was a tuna confit at 4 degrees which was really tasty. 


Ivan said to the waiter that we were sharing and they served our dishes in two separate plates and both presented in a pretty way.

We were thinking of getting the Hot Ceviche but it was 79 Soles ($31 USD) since it came with langoustines. We also got a goat cheese cannelloni which was small (one cannelloni each), but tasted lovely.  

The main course was Salmon and Earth which was salmon with a mushroom risotto. 


The salmon was perfectly cooked rare and crunchy on top – it went well with the creamy risotto.

I knew that we were too stuffed for dessert, but I always like checking out what goodies that are offered.  I really wanted to try to the goats cheese cheesecake.  We passed on dessert.  Good thing we did because we got desserts for free. 


We were served two chocolates, flavored marshmallows, chocolates (mix of white and milk chocolate), jellies and a type of small cake.  It was a great end to a delicious meal.


Caipirinha Beach

Ivan, Lil Dave and I went out at 2 pm on January 8, 2013.  We got a taxi to Jurerê.  We had lunch at Doce Magia which is a pay per kilo buffet.  The food was alright.

We walked along Jurerê Beach. 


It was another overcast day.  The water was really cold.

I noticed a stall selling acai.  Ivan and I shared an acai with granola. 


Lil Dave got a acai with banana.

We walked further along the beach.  Ivan saw a lounge, so we decided to go sit down at Taiko which is about half way down the beach.  Ivan and I ordered caipirinhas with yellow fruit.  The drinks were the best caipirinhas we’ve had with pineapple, mangoes and passion fruit. 


We relaxed and later had another round of caiprinhas. 

We walked back to the street to find a taxi, but there wasn’t any around.  Ivan spotted a mini bus.  It was going to Canas Vieras, so we hopped on.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I started walking back to the guest house.  I noticed some cool art.


Ivan and Lil Dave used the internet while I worked on the blog.

For dinner, we went to Restaurant TriLegal.  Ivan ordered the salmon with quido which came with pickles.  Eww, we both hate pickles.  The salmon wasn’t as good as the fried cod with shrimps dish we had the other day.  It was good though.

We walked around to find something to do.  Ivan heard live music that was playing above Bob’s Burgers.  It was Route 66 bar which had a live band.  The song the band were performing was “Billionaire” by Bruno Mars.  Ivan and I each got a caipirinha which will be our last caipirinha in Brazil since we’re leaving for Lima tomorrow.  We stayed awhile listening to the music and enjoying our caiprinha.


Shrimp Pirate

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to the beach at 2 pm.  We went to Restaurant TriLegal for lunch.  Lil Dave got banana skewers.  Ivan and I shared a great fried cod with shrimp that had a tasty sauce. 


We walked along the beach.  Ivan started talking to a lady about the pirate ship ride.  It goes to an island and you get a free caipirinha.  Ivan thought that we should do it since it was another overcast day.  It is R$50 per person.  The lady walked us to the ticket office and the port. 


We boarded the pirate ship at 4 pm. 

The boat started going towards the island.  The sun came out and it was warm out.  Ivan and I got our free caipirinha which was served in a small clear plastic cup.


The pirates on the ship danced with most of the people on the ship – it was lots of line dancing.  The dancer Lola and the black guy (didn’t catch his name) were really good dancers. 


It took us an hour to reach the island Ilha de Anhatomirim.

The island has an entrance fee of R$8 ($4 USD) per person which isn’t included with the pirate ship ride.  We paid the entrance and got a free postcard of the island.

The whole group were taken around the island by the tour guide.  Ivan and I had no clue what he was saying since he was talking in Spanish (There’s lots of Argentinians who come to Florianópolis).  We walked around the island and Fortaleza de Santa Cruz which was a former fortress. 


The group went inside a building where a big skeleton of a whale was in the middle of the building.  I’m not really sure why.

I went to take pictures by a cannon.  There was a small owl and it would scream loudly when I came close.  It was really funny.  It would stop and then just look mad at me since I didn’t move away. 


If I moved back and went near him again, he’d scream again. 

The group piled back on to the pirate ship. 

More line dancing happened. I think the Brazilians and Argentinians love dancing.

There was a pirate fight against the black guy and the main pirate. 


I don’t know what they were saying, but people were laughing.  The acting wasn’t very good. 

The ship stopped and the main pirate threw the black guy overboard.  Then, a lot of people started jumping into the cold water from the ship. 

The captain started taking us back to the beach.  We arrived back at 7:20 pm. 


It was a good pirate ship ride.

Ivan and I walked to the Delicia no Palito stand where the crepes on a stick are sold.  Ivan and I each got a shrimp and cheese crepe.  Lil Dave had to convince the lady to cook him one with bananas – he even used his own bananas.  It was so very tasty again.

At 11 pm, we went to the smaller buffet for dinner.  I had some meat, banana fritters, fish and sweet potatoes. 

Ivan asked the guy at the guest house earlier about the clubs.  He said that they’re filled with young people who are 18 years old.  So, we decided not to check out the clubs.

Ivan and I watched some of comedian Jim Jeffries DVD before going to sleep.



On January  6, 2013, Ivan, Lil Dave and I had lunch at Surfer’s Paradise.  Lil Dave had a banana salad.  Ivan and I shared a acai smoothie.  Ivan got a salad with goats cheese and a salmon sandwich.  I got a filet mignon sandwich with cheese and caramelized onions.  It was a tasty meal.

We got a taxi to the bus station.  We left Balneário Camboriú, Brazil at 2:45 pm headed for Florianópolis.  Ivan and I watched the shows Bad Education and New Girls on the bus.  We arrived at 4:15 pm.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got a taxi to the Utopia guest house. 

We walked around the beach to check it out. 


Ivan and I had a corn on the cob.

We walked around the city and saw lots of restaurants and shops. 

We noticed a place selling a crepe on a stick. 


Ivan and I shared one with shrimp and cheese.  It was really tasty! 


It reminded us of a waffle though.

The guest house comes with free dinner every night.  Later that night, we went in search of the restaurants.  The first one was a small buffet with lots of different meats.  We went to the other free restaurant which was Canto Gaucho.  Ivan and I filled our plates with food.  I got some meat at the back where there were lots of choices.  The food was pretty good.

Ivan and I walked down to the beach to get a drink and a few carts were selling drinks, but there wasn’t anywhere to sit.


We walked through the city, but there was only one bar.  The other places are restaurants where you can get drinks. 

There are promoters who try to get you to come to their club.  But, nothing exciting really seemed to be going on. 

Ivan and I headed back and watched the great British horror movie The Children.


Sushi Tennis

Ivan and I went to lunch at DNA Natural on January 5, 2013.  Ivan and I shared an acai with banana.  Ivan had a salmon salad while I got the shrimp and palm hearts warp.  It was a great meal again.

We stopped at a shop to pick up paddles and two bouncy balls. 

It was another overcast day, so it wasn’t too hot. 


Ivan went to the beach to play beach tennis with the paddles.  We drew a line in the beach like other people did.  Somebody left and we used their box to play our game.  I ended up beating Ivan two games in a row.

We walked back to the hotel and used the internet for awhile.

Ivan and I walked to the beach and we played beach tennis again. 


I beat Ivan three games in a row. 

We walked to Havaianas where I bought a pair of pink Cheshire Cat flip flops. 


I got a flower and a turtle jewel added to it.

Later that night, we went to dinner at TEMAKIart at 11 pm – went to the location right along the beach.  Ivan and I got lots of sushi: tuna, shrimp, salmon and salmon carpaccio.  The food was tasty with the smooth, cold Oze Karkuchi sake. 

Ivan and I walked to Avenida Brasil to find a taxi cab since we were going to see French DJ Bob Sinclar at Space.  It started raining really hard.  A man who was walking told us there was a taxi stand a few blocks down.  We walked down there and shortly found a taxi.  It took us 40 minutes to finally get one. 

Ivan couldn’t find an international ATM earlier, so we had the taxi driver drive us to the ATM that we used the other night by the Big Beach Boutique stage.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t working.  We drove to another Bradesco and the ATMs were all shut off. 

Ivan asked the driver to take us back to Hotel Plaza.  Ivan asked the guy at the desk if he could pull off money off his credit card, but the guy didn’t have any money. 

The taxi driver asked another driver if he had a credit card machine, but he didn’t. 

Ivan ended up paying for the taxi fare by paying for his gas as another taxi driver suggested.

We decided not to go to Bob Sinclar since he was probably already on, we didn’t have any money for drinks and cab fare and we probably wouldn’t find a taxi back to the hotel at the end of the night.  What a bummer!  It’s alright.. I’m sure we’ll see him in Vegas at a pool party this summer.


Popsicle Wrap

Ivan had the free breakfast at the hotel at 10 am on January 4, 2013.  I was thinking of going, but I was too tired and went back to sleep instead.

It was time to head out for lunch.  I noticed a big Santa Claus right near the beach.


We went to lunch at DNA Natural.  Ivan and I shared the acai with banana and granola.  I could definitely eat this everyday. 


Lil Dave got an acai with bananas.  Ivan got a shrimp and palm heart wrap while I had a vegetarian wrap with cheese, eggplant, peppers, raisins and nuts.  Ivan’s wrap tasted better than mine.  It was a great meal.

We walked along the beach before heading back to the hotel.  Ivan used the internet while I worked on the blog.  It was a day of relaxing.

Later on, we went to Los Paleteros again.  Ivan and Lil Dave got a banana popsicle while I got strawberry. 


The popsicles are full of great flavor. 

We walked along the beach and saw a market on the beach.  I saw summer clothes, bikinis and jewelry being sold.

That night, we had dinner at San Telmo.  Lil Dave got a fish stuffed with bananas.  Ivan and I shared fried calamari and a salmon dish with passion fruit.  It was a really tasty meal. 

We walked along the beach to walk off some of the dinner.  Ivan and I went back and watched an episode of Bad Education before going to bed.


Fatboy Slim

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 7:15 am on January 3, 2013.  We packed up our bags and had breakfast.  Ivan and I said thanks and good-bye to Elizabeth.

We got a taxi at 8 pm to the airport.  Our flight left at 9:35 am headed to Guarulhos.  Ivan and I slept during the hour flight since we only slept 5 hours.

We all had lunch at the airport.  Ivan and I shared tuna sandwiches that tasted weird to me.  We used the internet.

Our flight to Navagantes was at 12:50 pm.  The plane arrived at 2:10 pm.

We got a taxi to Balneário Camboriú which is 35 km and it cost us $42 USD to get there – way too much money.

Ivan checked us in to the Hotel Plaza Camboriu which is close to the beach.

Lil Dave was happy that there was a double bed for us and a single bed just for him.  Ivan and I used the internet.

Ivan walked around to see the beach to see the stage for Fatboy Slim at the Big Beach Boutique tonight.  It looked miles away from our hotel. 

At 5 pm, we walked to Los Paleteros which is a place that sells Mexican popsicles.  Ivan and I each got Chocolate Belga (Belgium Chocolate) while Dave got Banana.  The popsicles were so very chocolaty and tasty.  Lil Dave thought his was tasted great.

Lil Dave went back to get ready for a monkey party on a boat. 

Avenida Brasil was busy with cars.  Ivan and I walked down the street trying to find a taxi and we couldn’t see any.  After about 10 minutes, we finally found one.  He took us near the stage for tonight.  There were people selling tickets for the event.  Ivan and I checked out the backstage area which is right behind the backstage.  We’re not really sure why you’d want to see the back of the DJs instead of be in front where all the action happens. 

We found out from a lady where you can print your tickets that the box office wasn’t open yet, but we could try there later.  She wasn’t sure when it was opening and how much tickets cost. 

Ivan went to a few people who were selling to get two Gold tickets for R$300 each ($150 USD).  Most guys wanted R$500 per ticket.  One guy said fine even after his friend was getting mad for saying he’d take it for R$300 per ticket.  We got a good deal since the prices were a lot more at the box office.  Glad to get it all sorted before we had dinner.

Ivan and I had dinner at Casa de Lagosta.  Ivan and I shared shrimp cooked aglio & olio style and a salmon in a great orange sauce.  The salmon was a huge portion for 2 people.  We weren’t sure what time Fatboy Slim would be on.  Ivan figured there would be a few opening DJs first.  We each had an espresso.

I noticed on the screen that 3 DJs would be on before Fatboy Slim.  Ivan and I walked to the Gold area entrance.  He asked a few people what time Fatboy Slim was going to start.  Since they didn’t really speak much English and we speak no Portuguese, we were hoping they knew we were asking what time he started and not when he finished.  Two people said 11 pm.  We walked to the box office and the guy there said 9:30 or 10 pm. 

We walked around to find a place for dessert since we had time to kill since it was 7:20 pm.  We went to Meiji Sushi.  The music started at 7:30 pm and it was generic house – so we knew it wasn’t Fatboy Slim since his music is very upbeat.  Ivan and I shared a petit gateau which came with vanilla ice cream.  It tasted good even though the cake wasn’t that warm.

We walked to the Gold area entrance at 8:30 pm.  Ivan waited in line for awhile to get drinks.  He got a bunch of Smirnoff Ice for later (so we wouldn’t have to keep going back to the bar) and Jagerbombs for us.. then, we headed to the dance floor.  Dexterz was on which had a DJ, a violinist and a drummer.  They played some lovely music.  We danced awhile and then the next DJ came on who was alright.  It started showering at the end of the set. 

Fatboy Slim came on at 11 pm. 


When he started DJing fireworks went off above the whole stage structure.  It was really cool.  His sets are always filled with fun, upbeat music.  There’s usually a lot of vocals and classic tunes.  The visuals on the big screen were really cool. 


I saw a 3D rendering of Fatboy Slim, lots of yellow smiley faces and skulls.  I liked the white paint on his face and in black Dance Bitch was written on his face.  When he played Can you help me find Fatboy?, he was on the screen with his face painted yellow and a black smiley face drawn on his face. 

Ivan and I were in the front off to the side where there was plenty of room to dance.  Part of the Gold area is a covered area with VIP tables and tables where you stand – this area was packed with people. 


We danced like crazy to Fatboy Slim.  The rain made it cooler out which is good when you’re dancing since you get hot.  It started raining hard for a few minutes, but then it finally died down. 


Fatboy Slim had a canopy over him so he stayed dry.  It was taken down when the rain stopped.  Later, they had to put it up again.  It was a wonderful set.

Check out the video of the beginning of Fatboy Slim’s set:

It was awesome dancing to Fatboy Slim.  We could have to danced to him for hours more.

There wasn’t a taxi in site near the beach.  Ivan and I walked along the beach for awhile and then on Avenida Brasil to get back to our hotel.  It took us an hour to get back.

Photo Credit: Fireworks, Skull photo and Fatboy Slim


Crab Cooking

Ivan and I went to lunch at Amazonia Soul on January 2, 2013.  We shared an açaí with granola and a crab dish with olive oil. 


It was a tasty meal.

Lil Dave went out earlier to meet up with his cousin for his last day in the monkey favela.

We chilled at the apartment for awhile.

At 3:30 pm, we walked to an apartment nearby.  We were taking the Cook in Rio cooking class.  The teacher was a Brazilian lady named Chef Simone.  The class included us and 5 South African people (2 couples and a single guy). 

Simone did most of the work.  Sometimes we got to chop things up.  It would have been nice if she told us what she was doing which she only did every so often. 

The first thing Chef Simone made was grilled cheese with a spicy guava marmalade sauce.  The grill was similar to halloumi cheese.

Next, she made fried cassava sticks (aipim frito) with a spicy sauce to add on top.  It had a similar taste to potatoes and tasted great with the spicy sauce Simone made.

It was really hot in the kitchen since there was only a fan that rotated.  Ivan and I were sweating the whole time.  Ugh.


I helped chop up limes and oranges (which were actually yellow) and mush the fruit for the caipirinhas. 

Ivan chopped up onions and then caramelized them on the stove. 


Later, he added farofa, bananas and then coconut.

Two of the South African guys helped make the fish stew which has peppers and onions in it.  Brazilians don’t cook with spices, they just make spicy sauce to add to it when you’re eating. 

The next caipirinha we made was with pineapples and passion fruit.  Simone said passion fruit calms you down. 


It was a tasty drink.  I think the caipirinhas on the beach and in the bars are much sweeter.  I’m sure they add tons of sugar to the drinks.

A rice dish with garlic was cooking.  Mmm, I love the smell of garlic cooking. 

Our last caipirinha was the traditional kind.                                 

The main course came out which was fish stew, banana farofa mix and garlic rice. 


It was a colorful dish that tasted great.

This cooking class is actually a demonstration since you don’t really get to cook very much with some people actually not cooking at all.  Simone is super nice.  It just would have been nice to hear more about what she was doing with the ingredients – I didn’t even know there was coconut in the banana dish until Ivan told me now when I was writing the blog.  It was way too hot and a proper air-conditioning unit would have been great.  The class is $75 USD per person which isn’t worth it.  Maybe if they had more cooking stations for people to cook and prepare the food it would be a good class. 

We walked back to the apartment and watched an episode of New Girl before going to sleep.


Bossa Nova Bike

Ivan and I went out for lunch at the Restaurante Natural Beterraba again.  It was good food again.  Lil Dave went to explore Rio on his own.

Ivan and I walked to the beach where we rented a pedal bike.  It cost R$40 for an hour.  We biked down most of Copacabana Beach and then back to the rental place.  It was really hot and humid out. 


We were thinking of heading to the beach, but it was too hot to stay outside. 

Ivan thought we should take a siesta (nap), so we headed back to the apartment.  It’s so convenient having the apartment so close to the beach.  Ivan and I took a long 2 1/2 hour nap. 

We showered and got ready.  We grabbed a taxi and went to Rio Scenarium in the center of Rio.  We were too early since it doesn’t open until 8 pm.  Ivan read that the line to get in can be really long.

This street has great colorful buildings with balconies that remind me of New Orleans.


We got a great watermelon caipirinha at Mangue Seco while we waited along with a lot of other people who were also waiting.

Right before 8 pm, we joined the line and were second in line to go in.  It was $25 USD per person for entrance since it was New Year’s Day.  Ivan and I stepped in Rio Scenarium and were welcomed by fridge doors on the wall and a bike hanging from the ceiling. 


I knew that this would be a cool place.  I was definitely right since the restaurant has lots of cool antiques all around the 3 floors. 

We had great seats next to the band.  Ivan I ordered dinner and then we went to check out the second floor with all the great stuff on the walls and display cases.


Marcia Guedes were playing some great bossa nova music. 


The dance floor was getting filled up with lots of people dancing.  Ivan thought it would be lots of tourists, but the Brazilians were singing along to a few of the songs.

Ivan and I shared cod balls and a shrimp in a pastry for a starter.  For our main course, we shared spaghetti with shrimps in a pesto sauce.  We enjoyed our dinner with a tasty passion fruit caipirinha.

We ordered a brownie which took forever to arrive.  I think the waiter forgot about it until we reminded him 40 minutes later.  I thought it was cheeky when he told us about his tip… especially when we found out later that the service charge is already added on the bill.

The second band Dhy Ribeiro came on later and they were a lot funkier.  Not many people were dancing since I don’t think anybody could figure out how to dance to it.  They sounded good though.


Before we left, we went to look around the 3rd floor. I could spend a very long time exploring this great restaurant.



New Year’s Eve

I woke up at 11 am on December 31, 2012.  Ivan and Lil Dave were already awake.  We had the free breakfast.  Lil Dave went to meet up with his cousin for the monkey New Years party later tonight.

Elizabeth walked us to a laundry place, but it was $16 USD for our load and would take 2 days to do – that’s way too expensive and it usually only takes a day, but I guess they’re closed on New Years day.  Elizabeth said we could just wash it at the apartment.

Elizabeth also helped me get medicine since I keep coughing up mucus.  She’s so very nice.

Ivan and I walked along the beach.  We went back to the apartment and put the laundry in the washer. 

At 3 pm, we walked back to Copacabana Beach. 


We each got a caipirinha and started walking on the beach.  After finishing our drink, we went in the water which was really cold.  The waves were really strong and knocking us over, so we sat down on the beach and relaxed. 


We’ve been thinking about what to do for New Year’s Eve lately.  A party at Copabana Fort with of The Black Eyes is $500 USD with a dinner buffet and open bar all night.  There’s parties on the beach that are $100 or more.  It’s just way too much to spend for one night.  We decided to just go to the beach, watch the fireworks and see what’s going on afterwards. 

Ivan and I went back to the apartment to get ready.  We wanted to go to the Chinese restaurant, but it was closed.  We were thinking of an Italian place nearby, but there was a wait.  We ended up at New Tokyo Sushi Bar


Ivan and I shared a tasty sashimi salad for an appetizer.  We had strong cold sake with our grilled fish and grilled salmon dishes.  It was a wonderful meal.

Afterwards we made our way to the beach and after grabbing a few caprihinas, we found our space to watch the fireworks. It wasn’t even half as busy as we thought it would be – probably because even though there was something like 2 million people there, Copacabana Beach is really long and quite wide at some points, so everyone is well spread out.

The fireworks started a few minutes early – and unfortunately there was no countdown, but they were really amazing to watch.


Lasted about 20 minutes! After the fireworks we suddenly found ourselves swallowed up in a passing samba band……and we just let the beat take control with us, and we ended up dancing for about 1.5 hours while walking all the way down Ipanema Beach! It was a lot of fun. The band were all wearing traffic cones on their heads, and there were tons of people dancing with them as we all walked along.  I took an umbrella from a guy and started dancing with it. 


It was a really fun night!

We went back to the apartment at 2:15 am.

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